Ferrari will come out all guns blazing at Interlagos in an effort to upset the formbook and give Kimi Raikkonen a legitimate shot at claiming a maiden Formula One world title.

Speaking in the wake of the Finn's fifth win of the season, at Shanghai on Sunday, sporting director Stefano Domenicali insisted that the Scuderia would focus purely on what it could do to provide the best opportunity of overturning a seven-point deficit to championship leader Lewis Hamilton in Brazil.

"If we look at the next race, we don't have any other choice than to be aggressive," he said, "We need to achieve first and second and that's it. That, for sure, will be our strategy."

Domenicali went on to praise Raikkonen for the way he attacked Hamilton in China, but admitted that the Finn's pressure probably hadn't led to the Briton's mistake.

"I don't know," he said, "To be honest, maybe he was struggling with the tyres, but Kimi was there, just behind and attacking at the right moment. It was important to avoid any kind of contact because you never know. At this stage, contact for us would have been dramatic because the championship would have been over, so that shows Kimi was so cool to be right in the way to attack Hamilton.

"After the first pit-stop, we were just tackling what Hamilton was ready to do, because we knew that he basically put less fuel into the car in comparison to our stop. Of course, we were just controlling the pace and checking what the situation was. We knew, at that stage, that we could be in front, so it was much easier."

Raikkonen remains the outsider in the three-way title fight with McLaren team-mates Hamilton and Fernando Alonso, and Domenicali is reluctant to think that the Finn might benefit from the much-publicised rivalry between his two rivals.

"We need to look within our cars," he insisted, "It's already difficult because we need to be first and second and then we will see but, for sure, with all due respect, we understand that the pressure is high on both of their drivers. The only thing that I can say is that we will focus on our job and that's it, to be honest. We respect the work of the others, but what we are going to do is to try to put pressure on them, that's for sure.

"When you are under pressure or you are pragmatic, you can make mistakes everywhere. That shows how Formula One is, and maybe [Hamilton] was thinking [pitting] was the easiest part of his race. That's racing."

Both teams' preparations for the final race will be limited, but director of track operations Luca Baldisserri reckons that Ferrari may have a surprise for its rivals, with all three title contenders able to claim a fresh engine for Interlagos.

"We are not able to test, because there is no more testing and, although we have a collaudo [shakedown] to do, that will only be to check the parts that we will have in the race, so the engine and gearbox," he explained, "The only major job we can do is, again, on the simulation and we will try to do our best on that."

"[The engine change] was already planned and, in the last test, we tried something in the engine. Normally, they have to do two races whereas, in this case, we only have the engine for one race, so you can imagine that we are having the extra bit of power that is always a risk."

Ferrari won in Brazil last year, with Felipe Massa running away with the race, but Baldisserri is reluctant to rate their chances quite so highly this year.

"The car is a bit different than the past year," he explained, "Last year, we tuned the tyres, we had Bridgestones, so we basically decided the tyres to have. This year, it's different, because we have to stay on what Bridgestone bring, and they have decided to bring the soft and super soft. This, to be honest, is not our preferable choice because, historically this year, we were struggling where we had those compounds [in qualifying]. And you know the tyres are quite important in a car's performance - if you are not able to use them at the best of their performance, you can easily lose tenths. We have to work out how to use the super soft in qualifying, but we've done some work at home after Budapest, and I think we understood the problem."

 

Comments

Loading Comments...